Upload new images. The image library for this site will open in a new window.
Upload new documents. The document library for this site will open in a new window.
Show web part zones on the page. Web parts can be added to display dynamic content such as calendars or photo galleries.
Choose between different arrangements of page sections. Page layouts can be changed even after content has been added.
Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.
Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.
Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.
Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.
Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.
Cycle through size options for this image or video.
Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.
Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.
Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.
Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.
Remove the video from the media panel.
Students in the UD Games Lab play Soul Calibur IV, one of the Japanese fighting games that were studied by Rachael Hutchinson in her recently published research.
College students playing Japanese
fighting video games often object to the unrealistic depictions of the
characters, drawn with exaggerated and highly sexualized physiques, but
they say the mechanics of the game itself are more important to them.
Those findings come from researcher Rachael Hutchinson, associate professor of Japanese studies in the University of Delaware’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, who conducted four years of surveys of students’ attitudes toward the games.
Her paper, “Gender Stereotypes in Japanese Fighting Games: Effects on
Identification and Immersion,” was published in the September issue of
the Journal of New Media and Culture.
“In these particular games, the characters — male and female — have
very extreme, exaggerated physiques,” Hutchinson said. “These are very
unrealistic body types.
“My question was: Does this detract from a player’s ability to
identify with a character [he or she is controlling during the game] or
from their immersion in the game?”
She found that players noticed and had negative feelings about the
exaggerated body types and that there were differences between the
reactions of men and women, although both genders expressed worry about
the influence on younger players.
Men, she said, were more concerned about the extreme body images of
the male characters, drawn with such exaggerated muscles that even a
student who was a bodybuilder called them unrealistic. In contrast,
women were more likely to criticize the sexualized depiction of the
female characters as an indication that men dominate the video game
industry as designers and corporate executives.
Despite these objections to the images of characters, students told
Hutchinson that other factors were much more important to their
identification with characters and their immersion in a particular game.
Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.
Rachael Hutchinson is a co-founder of the UD Game Studies Research Group and helped develop a new interdisciplinary minor in game studies.
“When I asked them what detracts from their identification with a
character, the sexualized elements were ranked at No. 6,” she said. Much
more important to the players were such factors as whether they were
winning the game and whether they could easily direct a character’s
“When you’re losing or feel like you can’t control your character,
you get frustrated and lose that sense of identification,” Hutchinson
said. “When you’re winning, you identify with the character no matter
what it looks like. These are functions of the genre, not related to how
the character appears.”
The research also shows the value in studying a particular type of
game, rather than the industry as a whole, she said. Japanese fighting
games give players a choice of dozens of characters and the ability to
engage in short fighting sequences that last only a few minutes. After a
fight, a player can change characters if she or he wants to.
In a different kind of game, where a player directs a single
character through a narrative that might take hours to complete, the
findings might be different, Hutchinson said.
“I think a lot has to do with choice, with whether a game gives you a
choice of characters,” she said. “These fighting games are different
from other genres, and the way people play them is different.”
New minor in game studies
A new, interdisciplinary minor in game studies is available this
semester, largely because of the interest expressed by students, said
Hutchinson, who is a co-founder of the UD Game Studies Research Group.
That group was established with support from the College of Arts and
Sciences’ Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center.
A survey of undergraduates found that many students — with majors
including computer science, art, communication, and languages,
literatures and cultures — were interested in a game studies minor,
Hutchinson said. Faculty from a variety of disciplines worked together
to create the program and develop related courses.
The minor requires 18 credits in such subjects as game design, game
reception and games and culture, and Hutchinson said it’s already
proving to be popular with students.
“Most students have been playing these games for a long time,” she
said. “Now, we can help them learn to think about them in a different